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How to Grow Red Hot Poker Plant or Torch Lily


Perennial,  Tritoma

 Drought and heat tolerant Red Hot Poker plants are easy to grow. They will do well in mid summer's heat, when other plants have wilted. They are great for arid, and semi-arid areas. You may know Red Hot Poker by another name. It is also called Torch Lily and Poker Plant. They are native to South Africa.

Red Hot Poker grows two to five feet high, depending upon variety. The leaves are long, thin and dagger-like. They produce flowered spikes from spring through fall, as long as you deadhead the spent spikes. Flower colors include the ever popular red (of course!), orange, coral, cream and yellow. It should come as no surprise that Hummingbirds like the tubular florets.

Red Hot Poker plants look their best when grown in clumps, and displaying lots of blooms. Check the height of the variety you purchase, to determine where it best fits in your mixed flower garden. We also suggest they are placed within easy viewing, so you won't miss the Hummingbirds when they visit!


Plant Propagation:

Red Hot Poker plants are grown from seeds. They can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. Sow Red Hot Poker seeds early in the season, and cover lightly with 1/4" of fine garden or potting soil.

Ideal plant spacing is 18" -24".  Thin or transplant seedlings, if needed, when they reach 2". They will tolerate a little crowding.

Established plants can also be propagated by plant division. Separate in spring or late fall.  Replant in desired location, with the crowns at or just below the soil level.


How to Grow Red Hot Poker Plants:

Red Hot Poker plants are very easy to grow. The like full sun. They prefer loose, rich soil that drains well.  It is important to avoid wet soils, as the crowns can rot. Mix in compost when planting, if your soil is not rich. Add a general purpose fertilizer when planting them, then once a month after that.

Once your Red Hot Poker are established, they should grow well with few problems.  They will grow on their own with little care or attention. Just make sure to view them often, to enjoy their brilliant blooms. And, if you're growing red Hot Pokers, you will likely find Hummingbirds. They are attracted to the tubular flowers. Red is best color for attracting Hummingbirds.

Flower spikes will begin to bloom in the spring. Deadhead the spent spikes, to promote continuous blooms all the way to fall.  Remove the entire spike.

Red Hot Poker plants are heat and drought tolerant. But, we do recommend watering them during the driest periods of summer. They will do well in mid-summer's heat.

In cold weather areas, add 2-3 inches of mulch before winter to protect the crowns.


Insect and Disease:

Insect and disease problems are uncommon.


More Information:

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